Paulette Dotson has always been a major sports fan, especially of the Denver Broncos.
Growing up with a family of athletes and sports fans, Paulette Dotson was constantly surrounded by friendly competition, stat updates, and of course celebrations of the Denver Broncos.
The Denver Broncos were founded in 1959 as a charter AFL franchise and won the first ever AFL game on September 9, 1960 after defeating the Boston Patriots. The Broncos were part of the AFL Western Conference through 1969 and have been part of the AFC West of the NFL since 1970. The team played at Mile High Stadium from 1960-2000 and Sports Authority Field at Mile High since 2001 where Paulette Dotson and her family like to frequent games.
The Broncos started off slowly in the NFL, but made three straight playoff appearances to close out the 1970’s behind quarterback Craig Morton and wide receivers Haven Moses and Rick Upchurch. Morton lead the team to a 12-2 record in 1977, while Moses averaged more than 20 yards per reception in 1977 and 1978. Upchurch was one of the best return men of all time and a dangerous deep threat as a receiver.
In 1981, Dan Reeves took over as head coach and in 1983 John Elway was drafted by the Broncos out of Stanford. Little to be known at the time, Elway would lead the Broncos to two Super Bowls late in his career and became one of the top quarterbacks of all time. He threw for 51475 yards and 300 touchdowns. Shannon Sharpe was Elway’s go-to receiver in the 90’s, compiling 815 career receptions and 62 touchdowns before retiring in 2003. Terrell Davis was the workhorse running back from 1995 through 1998 before injuries shorten his career. All told, Davis compiled 7607 yards, 60 touchdowns and a 4.6 yards per carry. Mike Shanahan was the head coach behind the behind bowls in 1997 and 1998. Paulette Dotson has heard these stories told over and over at family events where sports are often a hot topic of discussion.
The Broncos remained contenders, making playoff appearances in 2000, 2003, 2004 and 2005 before missing the playoffs five consecutive seasons. With Peyton Manning at the helm late in his career, the Broncos were a force, making two trips to the Super Bowl, winning their third Super Bowl in 2015 under coach Gary Kubiak.
Other notable players in franchise history include Willie Brown, Gary Zimmerman, Rod Smith, Lionel Taylor, Karl Mecklenberg, Steve Atwater, Randy Gradishar, Tom Jackson, Simon Fletcher, Von Miller, Louis Wright and Dennis Smith.
All told, the Broncos have made 22 playoff appearances and have won 8 conference and 15 division championships. Paulette Dotson and her family are hopeful to see more playoff and Super Bowl appearances in the years to come.